Monday, October 12, 2009

Bargainista interviews Hellen Buttigieg

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a show called Neat on HGTV Canada. Each week, home and office organization coach, Hellen Buttigieg went into a home, helped organize the clutter and by the end of the hour, some lucky person had benefited from Hellen’s wisdom and a room makeover. I always wanted to meet Hellen and ask her to help me out. I even went as far as to ask my husband to enlist her coaching/consulting services as my birthday present this year.

Well, I still hadn’t gone beyond Googling her. About a month ago, our mutual friend, Donna Papacosta mentioned Hellen was on Twitter. Within minutes I started following her. We soon started an online conversation and I inquired about her company, We Organize U. I was delighted when she obliged to do this interview. I also went as far as to book my first session and started working with Nadia, a lovely member of the We Organize U team. I can’t wait for my next session.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by people who realize their dreams and live the kind of life they want for themselves. If I can play a small role in helping them create that, I get jazzed up.

What is chronic disorganization?
Great question, because the term is often misunderstood. The National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) defines it as “having a past history of disorganization in which self-help efforts to change have failed, an undermining of current quality of life due to disorganization, and the expectation of future disorganization”.

When did you decide to help people organize their personal space and why?
I started my organizing business, We Organize U, in 2001. Ironically, it was meant as a temporary job to fund my coaching studies. Little did I know at the time how the two fields, organizing and coaching, could work together to help people create the life of their dreams.

How would reducing clutter in my home help me save time and money?

Reducing clutter allows us to save time and money because it makes it easier to find what we need quickly and easily, so it saves us from having to run to the store to buy duplicates (and a few impulse purchases while we’re there). A de-cluttered home takes less time to clean. Less clutter means we can use and enjoy all the rooms in our home as opposed to having some spaces ‘out of bounds’ because they have become storage areas for unused stuff.

What would you like Bargainista readers to know about your approach?
At We Organize U, we never use a cookie-cutter approach to organizing our clients. Our goal is not just to get you organized; it’s to set you up for success in maintaining your organized home/office. We help clients conquer clutter by providing them with strategies and techniques based on their unique learning style (visual, auditory or kinesthetic). You can learn more about this in my book, Organizing Outside the Box: Conquer Clutter Using Your Natural Learning Style.

Why Twitter and Facebook? Are they helping you build your business? How do you know?
I resisted getting on Twitter and Facebook for the longest time, but I’m a convert now. Social media has helped my business grow. My book reached #1 on the Amazon bestseller list in two of its categories within days of being published and only being promoted through social media. An added bonus: I’ve met some really great people.


  1. Great interview. I'm a huge Helen fan and loved the show Neat (it's not being shown where I live anymore).

  2. Anonymous1:23 pm

    I also watched Hellen's show and learned a lot about decluttering my home. As of now, all the rooms on the main floor are in use along with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement. I have half the basement left to clear out but it will be much easier using Hellen's strategies.

  3. Anonymous11:50 pm

    What a good interview! I loved the show Neat. I need to buy her book since my house looks tidy, just don't open the storage room door! Thanks for the tips. Laura

  4. Cass, Anonymous and Laura,

    Thanks for your comments and I'm so pleased you enjoyed the interview. I still have a long way to go. It's very motivating and time-effective to have an expert coaching you along the way. I hope to blog about my experience eventually but let's just say living in a small Toronto semi with a growing family of four, I have my work cut out for (Nadia) and me.



  5. Good Interview. Does she have a blog or book out by chance? I am always looking for more ways to stay organized.


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